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Tell FIFA to Stop Allowing Blackface at the World Cup
author: Chris Wolverton
target: The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
Even as FIFA has cracked down on spectators bringing musical instruments, certain types of beer and water bottles into the World Cup, it seems to have ignored blatant expressions of visible racism from fans.
On Friday, June 20, three fans wore blackface in the Arena Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador to ridicule the Afro-Brazilian and Caribbean religion Candomblé. Just a day later, at least five more Germany fans wore blackface to mock the players on Ghana’s team. Security let them through the gates both times, and photos and videos of their racist display went viral.
Racist taunts are common in European sporting events, where black players are routinely taunted with monkey chants and have bananas thrown at them. This rude behavior should not be tolerated at any sporting event, particularly not the World Cup which is viewed by millions of families around the world. Wearing blackface ruins the fun of the game for many viewers.
Despite FIFA’s frequent claim that it does not tolerate any kind of discrimination, it has yet to put an end to bigotry of this nature among its spectators.
The World Cup is viewed by millions of people all over the world. By not preventing spectators from wearing blackface, FIFA is helping them disguise a hateful message as sports enthusiasm. And that is absolutely unacceptable.
FIFA has promised to launch an investigation into Saturday’s incident, but it must also prevent anything like this from happening in the future. Tell FIFA to explicitly ban all displays of racism — including blackface — from World Cup events!